It’s finally here! We’ve had the best, we’ve had the middling, we’ve even had some disagreements, but we’re at the end of our journey to rank all of the Power Rangers costumes, from best to worst. And we’ve saved the weirdest ones for last.
Yes, we’ve finally reached the bottom of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Barrel. Today’s installment includes #17-23—the ranger costumes that just don’t stand up next to their fellow rangers... or the ones that just look like a bit of a mess. If you want to see where the rest (and better) ranger costumes rank, Part One (#1-8) and Part Two (#9-16) can be found here and here.
James: I take back everything I’ve said about Power Rangers needing to add something physical to the suits to make them more texturally interesting
Katharine: The Red Ranger is literally being eaten by his suit.
James: The Red Ranger looks COMPLETELY ridiculous here. I get that it’s a power-up thing but the chestguard is way too over the top. The eyes! The giant eyes!
Katharine: There are two heads, one on his chest and one on his helmet.
James: The zig-zag pattern on the suit itself just does not work at all, either. It is a total mess from top to bottom, and he stands out against the rest of the rangers for all the wrong reasons.
Katharine: I can’t look away. I’m locked in a staring contest with his shoulder eyes.
James: It’s such a shame, because the other Ranger suits aren’t really that bad - and the adding of random silver armor to their right arms from the base versions just looks weird.
Katharine: They’re actually a step up from the base uniforms, as we will see. But Red Ranger ruins everything with that look
James: And what’s with the hexagon print on his gray arms? There’s just far too much going on design-wise all over this suit.
Katharine: Too much, just too much everywhere. Too many patterns, too many colors. Too many heads.
James: See, these guys are pretty low on the list, but I don’t really mind them. They’re not great, but not all that bad either. I’m interested to see how you feel.
Katharine: You know why these are worse? Because I can see where the supercharge elements came from and they should have stopped.
James: Ha, now that we can agree on.
Katharine: I can see that weird one shoulder thing and saying, “Make it a whole chestplate.
I can see the triangles on the sash thing and going, “ADD MORE”
“There’s a dino on the helmet, MAKE A BIGGER DINO HEAD”
James: But there aresome good ideas here! I do like the helmets a lot—it’s a very unique visor design that really works. I like that it’s smooth, rather than being sculpted as the past suits have, and the flared out pieces to represent each Ranger’s respective dinosaur are nice.
But man, although we know it can get worse with that Supercharge mode, there is still a LOT going on here for a Power Ranger suit, especially in terms of color.
Katharine: There is just too much. The single shoulder pad. That’s where I completely lose it.
James: There’s too much silver, the red on the shoulder for every character, the two-tone arms, the over-designed logos. It’s LIKE there was a discussion about past teams having suits that were too plain, and then they just decided to slap a bunch of shit on these ones and call it a day
Katharine: The hexagons on the arms! Supposed to be like scales, I guess, but like Turbo, they’re too thin to be seen. This is subtly bad. The more you look, the more the badness stands out.
James: Cut the shoulder pad, cut the silver, make the arms the same tone, and these would be much better.
James: Ill-fitting suits strike again!
Katharine: I have no words for the tops of these. Like, it looks like a cartoon explosion effect. Or sunrise. But in colors.
James: It’s like they had a good thing going with the white cross on the helmets, and then went “SCREW IT MAKE THEM LOOK LIKE PARACHUTES OR SOMETHING” for the chest. And then... forgot about it again for the legs?
Katharine: Simultaneously having too much white and too little white.
James: Quite an achievement!
Katharine: The helmets are so round. And with the big black voids in them, I feel like I’m staring into an alien cyclops’ face And the belts are just sad. It’s like they knew these didn’t work and decided to put an asterisk on the actual costume.
James: We should also probably talk about how these guys morphed...
James: Which, involved them projecting out a giant piece of liquid spadex that then got pushed over their bodies.
It looks like they’re being put in a vacuum sealer.
Katharine: “I’ll save these Power Rangers for later. Seal in the taste.”
James: It’s not a great look for some not great costumes.
Katharine: Everything about these, everything, is exceedingly not great.
Katharine: I picked this image because it made me laugh But the most important part is that these Rangers need to give Charlie Brown back his shirts.
James: Oh god, they’re awful.
Katharine: Tiny visors, lumpy helmets. And then those awful zigzagged tops.
James: The helmets look like they’ve perpetually got their faces scrunched up. Which, to be fair, if my Power Rangers costume looked like that, that’d be the face I pull too. The zigzags are WAY too big.
Katharine: Underneath the helmet, the Yellow Ranger says “Good grief.”
James: They look okay as prints around the gloves and boots, but slapping a big ol’ Charlie Brown top on the torsos just looks wrong. Power Rangers: Good Grief would be a pretty decent alternative title for these guys.
Katharine: It just really makes them look like cartoons. And not good cartoons.
James: GUYS YOU GOT THE HELMET COLORS THE WRONG WAY ROUND
Katharine: Seeing is for losers, James. The amazing inverted helmets! The black visor parts are where the eyes aren’t!
James: I can see why they’d try and change it up, but god it just does not work.
Katharine: Also, the men get arrows and women spades because.... angles are not for women?
James: Well, the spades look more like hearts. Much more appropriate for women than those manly, testosterone-laden angles.
Katharine: Except with the lines... not hearts. But really, as bad as that design feature is, the helmets win. I can’t stop wondering how they see.
James: Through a filter, like those old red/blue 3D glasses.
It’s such a shame, because I go think that these helmets would probably look pretty neat with the colors inverted. with the normal black visors.
Katharine: It is impossible for me to imagine that.
James: Having it swapped wrecks the balance between the colors too much. And then to throw in white with the torso design instead of black, or even silver, looks weird.
Katharine: Yeah, it should not be white on the torso.
James: They have black and silver everywhere else but the chest!
Katharine: Or it should be white on the gloves and boots. One of the two.
James: The Time Force should travel back to before production started and fire the costume designer.
Katharine: FUCK YOUR EYES. FUCK ‘EM WE HATE THEM.
James: How to ruin a costume with one simple (or wildly overcomplicated) visor.
Katharine: The crossover design is fine, clearly part of the theme. Everything else is standard Ranger stuff. BUT THE HELMETS.
James: I get what they’re going for—they’re the kanji each character is meant to represent.
Katharine: Are they? Or are they finding brand new ways to keep these guys from seeing? If these had been badges on the chest, it would have been fine.
Yellow! My god, all the black is at the bottom How does Yellow do anything?
James: They’re loosely styled after the kanji each Ranger paints when they transform, some of them inverted. Like you said—these would be great badges. But as visors, they’re TERRIBLE.
Katharine: So bad. It’s like those kanji came back and slapped them in the face and hung on there like a starfish.
James: To be fair, that’s exactly what happens:
James: Big ol’ slap to the face with your energy kanji.
Katharine: “Sorry, just gotta call up this kanji to hit me in the face”
James: The uniforms themselves, I think, are brilliant. I love how the chest pieces come down below the belt, like they’re wearing jackets. It fits the samurai theme, and the balance between the white, black,and respective Ranger colors really works.
Katharine: Yeah, it’s actually not bad at all. But the helmets just draw all the attention. Also, they’ve made sure that all of the kanji are styled in just the right way to give them mustaches.
James: Yep. They’re far too busy for the rest of the suit, and it’s a shame, because they’re busy in the worst way. But, Katharine, I have a surprise for you.
Katharine: Oh no.
James: And a surprise for me—because once again, full disclosure, I have watched more of the Super Sentai version of this series, Shinkenger, than I have the Power Rangers version.
And here’s an abomination that Power Rangers definitely added:
Katharine: Oh of course.
James: Say hello to Shogun Mode, also known as “MY SHOULDER PADS HAVE COME TO KILL YOU” mode.
Katharine: “BOW TO MY SPINY THIGHS”
James: Is it weird the fact that the red of all the additional armor doesn’t match the red of the suit underneath is the thing that bothers me most? Aside from the fact that it’s ALL TERRIBLE, that is.
Katharine: No, it bothers me too. It’s a weird blood red on top of the shiny red spandex. Power Rangers should consider shoulders out of bounds. It’s never been a good area for them.
James: How are you even meant to move with shoulderpads that size? They’re like something you’d see in World of Warcraft, but even more exaggerated.
And considering both Samurai and Shinkenger had a “super” mode that was much more subdued, it’s weird to have this one on top:
Katharine: NOT ENOUGH JAMES. He’s not quite capable of flight in that.
James: Once again, ridiculous collars (a personal favorite), but at least you can move like a normal human being in it.
Katharine: C’mon, Power Rangers. What are you doing.
Katharine: No. My god, just no.
James: This is another idea that is great on paper that just does not come together in the actual costume.
Katharine: I get that red, blue, and yellow are all big cats and the helmets are meant to reflect that but... just no. They’re too wide. And the visor bits too small. And the designs don’t actually mimic the fur patterns at all.
It just looks weird. Yellow doesn’t look like a cheetah. She looks like a fern.
James: Only the yellow Ranger got the hint that they’re meant to be wearing a karate gi and not the Rubies kid’s costume version of a Power Ranger outfit:
Katharine: Again... that is not the pattern of a cheetah
James: Like, that would usually work really well for a Power Rangers suit, but having it be a women’s-only design makes the guys look terrible. They need a belt to break it up.
Katharine: And what animal would you say the White Ranger is? Hmmm, I wonder.
Katharine: He’s literally a white rhino. They gave him a giant fucking horn that, because it’s white, is almost impossible to make out. It’s horrible.
James: Imagine tripping in that thing.
Katharine: And where did the orange come from and why?
James: But, once again—the tassled belt would look great on all of the Rangers, instead of just one of them.
Katharine: None of these Rangers match.
James: They don’t come together as a team very well. All their costumes have their own patterns, their own tweaks. There’s no unity.
Katharine: Look at White Ranger’s pointy shoulders. Who approved this? He looks like a rhino toy accidentally mated with a safety cone.
James: The Purple Ranger’s cute little wolf ears are weirdly hilarious.
Katharine: And again, weird because the cat Rangers didn’t get really obvious ears. They got triangles that allude to ears. Which are pushed back for some reason.
James: Individually, these costumes all have problems, but what really sinks them is a complete lack of cohesion as a team. And that’s saying something for a Power Ranger team, which is basically defined by its technicolor palette.
Katharine: Except this one really breaks that palette. Bright orange AND dark purple.
James: Purple is just not a Power Ranger color. It looks WRONG as a Ranger color.
Katharine: Neon orange is also not an acceptable Power Ranger accent color. And this is a weirdly dark purple, too. Like, not a bright Ranger purple. It’s too dark and the White Ranger is too bright.
James: Agreed. There are so many great ideas in theory in Jungle Fury from a design standpoint, but instead of picking a few and focusing on those, they went with all of them, and it overwhelms the entire look.
Katharine: Spots. Stripes. Horns. Whiskers. Too much. Plus, the cat Rangers all have really stylized helmets and the wolf is a literal wolf. If the bonus Ranger animals are going to be different, at least the design style could match a little better.
James: You know, the wolf, that famous great cat.
Katharine: Wolves and rhinos.
James: What were they thinking?
Katharine: If they aren’t all cats, why are THREE of them cats
James: To be fair, the Wolf and Rhino Rangers are the bonus rangers of this group. It’s like they were meant to be the bonus Rangers for a completely different group, and then were like “Hey kitty kats, can we hang out with you?”
Katharine: I get that they’re bonus, but this is way beyond an outsider look.
James: Somewhere out there is a Ranger team those guys can belong to.
Katharine: Follow your bliss, bonus Jungle Fury Rangers!
James: Also, I’d like to add that this picture we’re using hides the real crime of these guys: they’re just wearing goddamn padded sneakers.
James: I guess for a martial artist it makes sense in an almost Bruce-Lee-ish way, but man it does not look great on a Power Ranger.
Katharine: Purple looks like he’s wearing basketball shorts. With... Knee pads?
James: KNEEPADS NO ONE ELSE HAS.
Katharine: Literally everything’s wrong here
James: Too many cooks spoiled the costume broth, to mangle a phrase.
Katharine: Or “Holy crap, what the fuck?” To use another.
James: God bless the Power Rangers, every one of them... except Jungle Fury.